Four men have been charged over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.
MH17 plane was shot down as it flew over Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. 298 passengers and crew from 17 different countried were killed in the crash.
Dutch national police chief Wilbert Paulissen has named three Russian men and one Ukrainian man as murder suspects. Investigators will issue arrest warrants for rebel commander Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko, prosecutors said.
Dubinskiy was employed by Russia’s military agency GRU, Pulatov was a former soldier of Russian special forces Spetsnaz-GRU and Girkin a former colonel of Russia’s Federal Security Services (FSB), according to investigators. Ukrainian Kharchenko had no military background but is believed to have led a combat unit in Dontesk in July 2014.
A court case has been scheduled to start in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020.
The international team investigating the downing will not ask Russia and Ukraine to extradite the four suspects. Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said that the team realises that the constitutions of both countries prohibit that.
He said: “In the short term we will ask Russia to hand the summons to the suspects who are in the Russian Federation. The investigators will also ask Russia to arrange for the suspects to be interviewed about the charges.”